On Wednesday we headed back to hospital for the CT scan of my heart.
I was under orders not to eat anything after 0330; so it was an early breakfast before returning to bed for a snooze before we hit the road at 0630. Checked in on schedule at 0730, had a blood test to check that my kidneys could handle the upcoming onslaught; and then waited for the scan at 0830; which was then delayed until 1000, perhaps because someone who was actually ill needed it more than me.
Around 1000 I was offered a wheelchair ride to the CT scan room, which I gratefully accepted because I had been given a pill to lower my pulse rate and was feeling a little unsteady. Changed into a hospital gown, at which point a young lady turned up to tell me she was there to explain to me what was going on and to answer any questions; nice touch.
What was going on was being wheeled into the scanner with a feed attached to my arm. I was then given a nitroglycerin pill to put under my tongue and told not to swallow under any circumstances. I was also instructed that I had to hold my breath when indicated, and had to keep on holding it until instructed to stop. So, into the machine while trying not to swallow, holding my breath for what felt like an age; and then Wham Bam! My head exploded as a large quantity of iodine was injected into my veins. The head explosion was followed by a hot rush down my body and legs, which was actually rather pleasant. Meantime I was holding my breath and not swallowing; felt like a fucking juggler.
Then it was over and I had to wait for three hours to discuss the result with the doctor. Headed out to a nearby mall for some food which I struggled to eat, feeling sick and shivering thanks to the iodine swirling around my system.
For the last five years I have tried hard to have a lifestyle that minimises my risk of heat disease; and indeed three out of my five major heart arteries have zero calcium build up. But sadly one of them is 50% blocked and another 37%; which explains my recent problems. Doctor explained that this could have started thirty years ago, so tough shit (he didn’t actually say that). They don’t recommend surgery unless the blockage is more than 70%; so now I am on a mission to reduce the calcium plaque which will include a low carb diet, increased exercise and considerable chanting.
Rather annoying, but it’s another life challenge; and I did get a great picture of my heart to make into a T-shirt:
They also scanned my lungs which are in much better condition than expected, and even noted that my spine appeared to have seen some action in the past, check out vertebrae T2 (near the bottom if you need a hint).